CATUG history: 2010-11 Transition Announcements

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This page is maintained purely as a historical record.

At the end of 2010 some key officers of CMUG, giving priority to pastoral and other responsibilities in their churches and families, did not give as much attention to certain technical problems as other CMUG members believed was required. Some members then formed an interim technical team, set up a mailing list at the domain mac-min.org intending that the entire group should migrate there, and issued the announcements below. Unfortunately this led to misunderstandings and mistrust which lasted a few weeks and nearly split the group into two. However, by the end of February 2011 the group was reunited, with a new Board including members of the interim tech team alongside the former leadership, and a single mailing list on a new server.

This page shows the full text of two transition announcements made by the interim technical team, two messages from the outgoing CMUG President, and a message from the new Board.

First announcement

December 30, 2010

Dear Mac-Minners,

We hope you all had a Merry/Happy Christmas. The Mac-Min Admin team would like to announce a Christmas present to the entire Mac-Min community! We're delivering a shiny new email list… well, not quite in time for Christmas, but just in time to bring in the New Year.

As many of you are all too aware, the number of list software failures has increased over the past few months, meaning that more and more of you are missing out on important discussions. Compounding this problem, list maintenance has been chronically hobbled by Mac-Min's lack of admin access to the software (LetterRip).

In order to ensure that the Mac-Min email community continues to operate smoothly, we have made an executive decision to move the mailing list to a more modern, more appropriate list software (Mailman).

Besides being more reliable, the new software will allow you to set a number of preferences about the messages you receive, such as whether you want to receive plain text or MIME emails, switch between individual and digest modes, suspend your list mail temporarily, and other options.

The new software will allow the admin team to fix technical issues and list emergencies when they occur. Because we will be able to solve these issues before they become a big problem, discussions will be less distracted by administrative issues and will stay more focused on the content that matters to you.

In order to move to the new software, we will need to switch servers. Here's the part that involves you: you will need to subscribe to receive messages from the new Mac-Min address.

What you need to do:

1) Subscribe by visiting http://lists.mac-min.org/mailman/listinfo/mac-ministry_lists.mac-min.org and filling out the fields under the heading "Subscribing to Mac-ministry". The process is simple and only takes about two minutes. You will also need to respond to a confirmation email.

2) Change your email filtering/spam rules, if necessary, to receive messages from mac-ministry@lists.mac-min.org.

3) Beginning Saturday, January 8, send ALL your posts to the new list at mac-ministry@lists.mac-min.org.

4) By January 10, all messages from the old list should have stopped. You can then safely unsubscribe from the old list. To do this, send a blank email from your subscribed address to mac-ministry-off@list.macministry.org with the subject "Unsubscribe from Mac Ministry".

Please let us know ASAP if you have any difficulty subscribing or receiving messages from the new list. Contact the Admin team by sending an email to admins@lists.mac-min.org.

Again, if you want to continue to be a part of Mac-Min, you MUST subscribe to the new list. We recommend that you subscribe before the New Year. To prevent missing any Mac-Min messages, subscribe by January 8. We understand that some are traveling this time of year, and if that's you, just subscribe as soon as you can get back online. For the sake of privacy, the new list (like the old) will NOT have an archive, but if there is a need, we may temporarily add pages for relevant parts of the first few days' digests for the sake of members who are not able to subscribe promptly to the new list. The Wiki at http://mac-min.org/ will still be used to capture info of lasting value.

Please subscribe to the new list straight away, and be ready to move all discussions to the new list on January 8. This old list should continue to function past that date, but only as a signpost redirecting stragglers to our new address.

We are excited about having a more reliable and user-friendly list, and we hope that Mac-Min will be amazingly helpful to all of us in 2011.

In Christ's Service,
The Mac-Min Admin team

Brian Braunschweiger
Vincent Danen
Jon Gardner
Rory Gillespie
Aaron Hunyady
Scotte Meredith
Clive Read
Neville Reid
Faithe Thomas

Second statement

January 1, 2011

A Public Statement from the mac-min.org Tech Team
or, Explaining Our Actions

As David Burke said of CMUG, "We are, at our core, a family, with all the faults and blessings that come with that association."

For years, Jesse Sng, David Lang and others have been managing the technical and administrative side of CMUG -- maintaining the website, keeping the listserve software running, etc. -- but, over the past couple of years, and for good and understandable reasons, they have not been able to keep up with these administrative tasks. Over the past couple of years, Jesse has been largely unavailable for technical assistance, and in August 2010, he requested the formation of a team of volunteers to take over these duties. Since then, he has been silent on the list, his time and attentions having been diverted to more pressing issues that our Lord has laid on his capable shoulders. David Lang has also been extremely busy with other endeavors, not the least of which involves the production of Accordance, the premier Bible study software for Mac OS (and now iOS).

The members who volunteered in August are listed in the wiki. Note that although the page is headed Elections, there was no change in leadership, but many offers of service. Over the course of the months following Jesse's request, those who had stepped forward on tasks related to the website and list migration, i.e. the undersigned "tech team," put together a proposal for upgrading the online communication capabilities of CMUG, with the assistance of some of the existing CMUG moderators. Over those months, input was solicited from Jesse, David and other CMUG officers on the technical aspects of the proposal; however, as they had indicated in August, they simply did not have time to devote to the technical and administrative side of CMUG. Faced with the option of either moving forward and implementing the proposal, or waiting for an indeterminate time for Jesse and/or David to respond, we opted to treat Jesse's last statement on the matter (as he is still the President of CMUG) as our marching orders.

With that in mind, we proceeded to implement the proposal, which includes the following:

  • A new email list running on Mailman (http://list.org) to address multiple problems with the LetterRip-based listserve
  • An updated and expanded website, including blog and wiki features to provide a forum for contributing authors, FAQ, public awareness of CMUG, etc.
  • Multiple contact points for technical issues, reducing the CMUG-related workload that might be placed on any single individual (we're all volunteers, with many other duties)
  • An additional domain, mac-min.org to guard against CMUG becoming homeless (Jesse is the only individual with the ability to renew the macministry.org domain, so if he does not have time to renew it, we will lose that domain just as we lost cmug.org)

Our position regarding Jesse, David, and the current CMUG officers is that they are just that -- the CMUG officers -- and we have no right or desire to remove them from their positions. We implemented these technical changes at their implied request, and, if and when they are able to provide their input or direction regarding these changes, we are absolutely at their service. We have no desire to form a second organization, a splinter group, a "fork" of the CMUG list, or any such thing. Our desire is to use technology, and our God-given gifts in that area, to assist the CMUG officers in furthering the mission of CMUG. To reiterate, we are neither displacing nor replacing the current CMUG officers. Upon reflection, we realize that referring to ourselves as an "admin team" may have added confusion; therefore, we want to be very clear that this team does not seek to provide organizational administration, as that is the responsibility of the CMUG officers. Rather, we seek to provide technical administration in service of the CMUG officers and the entire CMUG family.

We intend to operate with the following provisions and plans:

Jesse Sng is currently the President of CMUG, aided by David Lang, and this team intends to continue to serve under their direction. We believe that holding public CMUG officer elections sometime during the first half of 2011 would be good for the organization, but this is for CMUG's officers rather than the tech team to decide. If new officers and/or tech people are elected, this team will serve under their direction, and will provide appropriate information (passwords, administrative information, etc.) to those elected. There are no reservations here. We agree to follow any lead the current or future President of CMUG dictates.

In His service,

The mac-min.org tech team
for Christian Macintosh User Group

Brian Braunschweiger
Vincent Danen
Jon Gardner
Rory Gillespie
Aaron Hunyady
Scotte Meredith
Clive Read
Neville Reid
Faithe Thomas

President's message

January 24, 2011

Hi,

I'm keeping this brief because I'm rushing out the door and will be out of town for the rest of this week. This is the first real break that I've had in months.

We've been busily communicating and working on both new solutions and fixing some of the existing things on the mailing list. This has kept us very occupied as we've been going back and forth.

I can understand that members on the list want something done and to hear some news, but it's not been possible to go back and forth dealing with issues while having to give a minute by minute report.

I've been trying to stay focused on getting necessary work done instead of communicating. I apologize if that has tested everybody's patience.

Here's what we have right now:

1. Current issues on the mailing list have been addressed. There's a combination of things that led to the problems, including stuff that fell in BETWEEN David Lang's and my responsibilities. The iWeb pages that were put up on the site inadvertently nuked whatever other stuff was there to help with list subscription. The subscribe/unsubscribe links on the website (http://macministry.org/Site/Mac_Ministry.html) have been repaired, and the webmaster email now funnels to a group of list admins, enabling us to respond to communications and requests in a timely manner.

We rewrote the headers and footers on the list mailings just before the weekend so that they now contain the proper links and direct to the correct webpage.

Be aware that Apple Mail and other email clients do hide some of the email header info and the list subscribe/unsubscribe email addresses were there all along. The list server software does suppress the sending of footers for styled text email.

These things have been patched pending a total overhaul of the web site. I will NEED people to work with me on this in the coming weeks.

2. We have created an internal forum for moderators and admins which will be comprised of many of those who have previously volunteered. This will not use the list server software but a separate service.

We will be adding these volunteers to the admin group today to get the ball rolling.

3. My long-term plan is to move us to where we can more easily focus on dealing with content and people - both on the web, mailing list, and on places like Facebook.

The goal is to keep the amount of high-level tech admin work and plumbing maintenance to the minimum; in short, to have a group which can be run by those possessing the heart to serve, regardless of individual technical proficiency.

4. I appreciate all the folks who have chosen to step up. The problem that I faced was that the more discussion there was, the more information there was to wade through - there was simply too much noise and that's why I asked David to help filter that for me.

There are 3 key areas to push ahead: (I) a total revamp of the web site (II) keeping the mailing list running and growing and (III) driving CMUG's growth through Facebook and beyond (iPad access?).

There's no reason why we should not be keeping pace in our growth with Apple's tremendous growth in the user base (Macs, iPhone, iPad) etc.

For that to happen, we need members to deal with information, content, and most importantly - People.

This is ultimately a social group of people, the internet is increasingly more about people than technology. I am glad that we have members who can deal with both, but I do see that the major thrust will be on the social interaction side of things.

There's been good input from many and there are some ideas that have been implemented, including the Wiki, which, pending discussion on the admin list, will remain useful adjuncts to CMUG's mission on the web.

My regards to one and all.

God bless you,

Jesse

Transition Announcement from the Outgoing President

February 12, 2011

Dear Members of CMUG,

I am writing to you to update everybody about some decisions that have been pending and developing for some time. Many of you have waited patiently for some answers and rather than try to report on things that were still a work-in-progress and incomplete, we have had to labour behind the scenes for some time to set things in order.

Please forgive me if everything in this letter might not be worded as carefully or precisely as I would like as I am not a great speech writer.

The New Leadership Team

After much careful and prayerful consideration, I have decided that the best way forward is to replace the current leadership structure and myself with a team that will be able to carry us forward. I would like to introduce this team to you:

I have empowered this team to take the reins of leadership for this group and to make the necessary decisions to move forward. Each of them has been a trusted member of this group and community and through the years, they have demonstrated their wisdom, stability and clear mindedness in various matters and discussions, especially the last few months.

I have made myself available to the team to help with the transition and to ensure that things move forward and to forge new directions. Whether there is a role for me to play or not is up to them, but this is currently neither my priority nor concern. When asked, I have given my input concerning new directions, but this is entirely the new team's decision to make, not mine.

Each of them is a proven member of this group and I have every confidence that CMUG will be in a better position because of that.

I would like everyone to know that my choice was not based on my personal friendships but on their quality of character. These are members that I may not always have been in agreement with, but I have every respect for them and their future contributions.

The "Support Team"

The previous team consisted of David Lang and myself and with David Burke coming on board as our ambassador along the way. It was unfortunate that both David Lang and myself started becoming swamped with work and ministry across time with very little in the way of a support team. What worked in the early years, no longer worked in recent times.

We are doing away with that and replacing it. What I have charged the new team with is the priority of building up a supporting team that can take us in the direction that the new team would lead us.

To that effect, I am appreciative and grateful to members like Neville, Aaron and others who had volunteered to lend their support to give us the technical capability to execute those directions. We will need both technical and other volunteers to help us to grow.

We have a wonderful collection of talent, skills and people and it is my hope that we will be able to work under the new leadership and make something happen.

An Apology and Plea for Forgiveness

To get the ball rolling, please accept my humble apologies for what has happened and I assume full responsibility for everything that has transpired.

Please know also that regardless of whatever has been said about me, that I made a choice not to even look at it and that I hold no grudge or offense against any member of this group. This was a unilateral choice I made and I believe it is the right thing to do and one that will honour our Lord and Saviour.

If I have wronged somebody here, I accept responsibility for that. Please forgive me. As the leader, I am accountable for the mess and I have taken steps to make it right and set things in order again.

Please also forgive the delay as we have had to spend some time trying to get the team together, in particular Jon Glass who had left the group and I had to seek him out and he took a bit of persuasion. I am glad that he is back with us and I will put it on record that this group would not be quite the same without him.

A Call to Unity and Action

It is my heartfelt desire and plea to everyone that we put aside the issues that have been hotly debated over the months and focus on what we can do for one another and to help one another and grow this community.

I urge you to lend your support to this team and to Tim Butler's leadership. He humbly accepted the leadership of this group after much consideration and prayer which was more than I could ask for. David Burke, Jon, Leonard, I am grateful for your faithful friendship, not because you were personally loyal to me, but that you were supportive and bluntly honest and I have come to value that.

I have always believed that Mac users were a special breed of people and I generally have not met a Mac user that I did not like. I also believe that as a Christian Mac user group that this is an even more special community of users and this is precisely what we have been fighting so vigorously over - a community of people that we care very much about.

Please lend your support to this new team and to the many other volunteers. It is my prayer that even as we have gone through a bitter period that we come out better for it and wiser.

As for CMUG, this is truly a special group of people we have here. I have had the honour of making a number of friendships and the privilege of being in fellowship with some of you. Space does not permit me also to mention how God had used some of you to be of a spiritual influence to me.

I do not know of any other technology group where we can share each other's burdens and be in prayer for one another so this is truly a unique experience. It is my prayer that we will keep it unique and distinct from the rest of the world.

Personally, I have seen Apple and the devices they made going through a tremendous time of growth over the last few years. I see no reason why we as Christians and users of our favourite computing platform and devices cannot grow in leaps and bounds in line with the user base. I look forward to seeing what this new team will do and what all of you will be capable of.

Oh wait, one more thing: Timothy Butler and team will be making some exciting announcements as part of the transition in the coming days and I am certain that you will be pleased with that. There are a number of people who have worked hard over many weeks and you will be hearing more about them in the coming days.

Yours Sincerely,

Jesse Sng
Outgoing CMUG President

Letter from the CMUG Board

February 19, 2011

Dear CMUG Members,

Following Jesse’s outgoing letter, there are three areas in which we wish to announce progress today: an expanded focus, expanded leadership and expanded infrastructure. As we begin CMUG’s 25th year of ministry, we believe that these announcements will help to bolster CMUG’s effectiveness in the coming years and address many of the concerns members have had in the past.

Expanded Focus

As the name “Christian Mac User Group” implies, our goal has always been to support Christians using Macs, but with a particular concentration on those using Macs for ministry (hence the name “Mac Ministry” for the mailing list). We are exploring ways to continue doing this while also better serving the general Christian Mac-using world. Moreover, we are considering the explosive growth of iOS and exploring the best ways to bring our community’s fellowship and combined knowledge to those who are Apple users, but not in the traditional “Mac-user” sense we might have considered in the past.

For these reasons, we will be changing our name to better reflect not only our focus on Ministry to non-members of our community, but also to align with Apple’s official naming convention for this new era of non-Mac-centric technology. Just as Apple Computer, Inc. became Apple, Inc., CMUG is going to become CATUG: the Christian Apple Technology User Group.

Although CATUG’s continuing ministry will be expanded in its breadth, rest assured that we are not going to forsake our original purpose. The exact plans for expansion remain fluid, but we will not dilute the character that makes the Mac Ministry list so valuable to us all. Moreover, we want to reaffirm our commitment to CMUG’s overarching principles by renewing our adherence to CMUG’s Statement of Faith and Mission Statement, without alteration, save to the organization’s name. These were adopted 25 years ago by this organization and can be found at the conclusion of this letter.

We intend not only to expand our focus to include other Apple products, but also other forms of communication. Many people now are accustomed to interacting primarily through Facebook and Twitter. These services will not replace the Mac Ministry list; however, they are community venues where we must strive to become more actively present so that we can be of greater benefit to the body of Christ, wherever members of the body may congregate.

Expanded Leadership

CATUG’s new President is Tim Butler. In the past, CMUG had a board to help guide it and that board is another part of CMUG’s history we are restoring. In addition to Tim, the board will be composed of Jon Glass, Leonard Durrenberger, and David Burke. These four officers share equal authority, responsibility, and information, with Tim presiding as the head of the board.

For the foreseeable future, we will not be holding elections; rather for now, CATUG will continue its 25-year tradition of appointing new leaders. We have analyzed and taken note of challenges to holding elections efficiently, effectively, and in an orderly fashion (1 Cor 14:40) at present and the Board has decided not to hold elections for the time being. We are prayerfully considering what elections may look like going forward.

We realize that some people here would like to see elections sooner rather than later, but we ask that you would join with us in prayer as we seek to implement the changes outlined in this letter. We also ask that you graciously give the officers and volunteers a chance to improve our community before passing judgment – we are all ready and willing to listen and respond to suggestions and constructive criticism.

For the past several weeks, we have been working with an extremely dedicated and faithful group of volunteers who have been known as “Ops” (Operational Board). The now-official Operational Board will serve as the main location where those willing to volunteer in the ministries of CATUG will discuss new ministry ideas to explore. Propositions from Ops will be submitted for approval to the CATUG Board, whose members participate “ex officio” in Ops. While directional decisions will be made by the CATUG Board, our goal is to empower and engage the Ops members not as mere sounding boards, but as collaborators who will in turn direct and participate in “ministry action teams” focused on executing the various ministries of CATUG (i.e. website team, wiki team, list moderation team, social media team, etc.).

Having just spent several paragraphs discussing government, it is timely now to point something out. One thing we do not want to forget is that if we are truly Christians, and we are truly servants, then only one person can truly be said to own this list and His name is Christ. We must all of us one day stand before Him, and give an account to Him for what we do in this group -- this prospect ought to frighten us far more than the wrath of people. So, please, let us pray for each other as we move forward: that the people on this list and in this group will serve one another in love and humility, as Christ instructed.

New Technology

To address some difficulties people have experienced with the mailing list in the past, we have transitioned to a new hosting provider and a new mailing list application. We have worked hard to create a seamless transition – for those who are still on the official Mac Ministry list, no action on your part should be necessary, you have already been moved to the new, improved list system.

To address concerns about the ongoing availability of the list, the new hosting and domain accounts are set up in such a way that they can be easily transferred should the future need arise. Also, the accounts are being administered by multiple CATUG officers, ensuring through a system of administrative redundancy that everything continues to run smoothly over time.

In closing, let us say this. We, the officers of CATUG, have only one prayer: that the people on this list serve one another and those around them in love and humility, as Christ instructed. (This bears repeating.) We do hope that everyone will be praying this same prayer. Ultimately, this community is just that, a community. We are part of the body of Christ and that is what is most important. While no announcement we could make would please everyone, we ask that you would remain willing to join us as we seek to take this humble organization and move it forward in the service of our brothers and sisters in Christ for the glory of our Father and Creator. So, please, pray for us, as you pray for each other.

In Christ,
The CMUG Board
David Burke
Timothy Butler
Leonard Durrenberger
Jon Glass
CATUG Statement of Faith

We Believe:

The Holy Scriptures as originally given by God, divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy, and the only supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

One God, eternally existent in three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, His virgin birth, His sinless human life, His divine miracles, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His mediatorial work, and His personal return in power and glory.

The salvation of lost and sinful man through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, apart from works, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the believer is enabled to live a holy life, to witness and to work for Lord Jesus Christ.

The unity of the Spirit of all true believers, the Church, the Body of Christ.

The resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the Saved to the resurrection of eternal life; the lost to the resurrection of eternal damnation.

Mission Statement

CATUG is committed to introduce the Christian to technology relating to Apple's Macintosh and related computers. Whether you own a Macintosh or not, CATUG can aid all members in their preparation for purchasing hardware and software and other related items. CATUG will continually expose its members to the Christian software market. Members will be encouraged to be committed as volunteers to help other members.

See also